Introduction: Cedar Chicken Coop Condo

Picture of Cedar Chicken Coop Condo

For years I read and watched as my neighbors built coops. Being a tall person, I thought how horrible it would be to clean and interact with the birds in such a small and confined space. After I visited about 20 other coops around the neighborhood and beyond, I sketched out this coop.

It took longer than expected to build and cost more than we planned. But according to our county inspector, it's the nicest coop they have ever seen. They even took a picture.

The coop has electricy with lights and heating lamps on timers as well as an old fashioned porch light for the front. We had a webcam, but with all the traffic, it made our internet access horrible, so we took it down. Oh, and yes, the coop has cat-5 cable. The best part of this coop is that our chickens love to lay eggs. And we get at least an egg a day from each of the girls.


fw 190D (author)2016-04-18

That is so good, you could live in it yourself.

Having built the ultimate environment for productive egg laying, you have done your bit, now it is up to the hens to do theirs.

If they don't respond with eggs, do the hens understand simple words like, "broil", "roast","baste","grill" ........

camp6ell (author)2011-04-28

so, eh, where's the instructable? this belongs on flickr... since you're clearly averse to giving out ANY actual useful building information, despite many questions asking for such.

frenchkitchen (author)camp6ell2011-04-28

Wow, you must really want to build a chicken coop. No i'm definately not adverse, just not an architect, so I wouldn't know how to provide any useful plans. And last time I checked instructables had three types of items you can share. A photo of what you've built, a step-by-step instruction or a video.

I chose to show a photo of something cool I built. Sorry that it isn't a step-by-step instruction -- but not being an architect or licensed contractor, I didn't feel comfortable providing plans of my little creation. Liability wise, it's not something I feel comfortable with.

As my project was custom for my location -- I had to dig drenches between the coop and my house for electricity, etc. I was a bit worried about me not being a licensed electrician giving others advice on installing electrical service in their coop.

Thanks again for checking out my project! The one project you posted is great with step-by-step instructions.

djlucas48 (author)frenchkitchen2015-11-27

You are very diplomatic!

Lectric Wizard (author)2013-04-28

A Poultry Palace !! Beautiful Job. Thanks for sharing it.

JKPieGuy (author)2012-06-19

This is a very nice chicken coop and very well designed, so well that I'd even consider living in it! I've got to show this to my Grandfather, he'd get a kick out of it because he loves chickens and chicken coops and also small home projects n' such. I also saw that you used " 12-2 Non-Metallic Cable" for the wiring in the ceiling and such. If you don't mind me suggesting I'd recommend you using "Armored Cable" or "Metal Conduit Pipe" to encase the wires in to prevent anything from tampering with it or to weatherproof it. Also if you have any outlets you should use a "GFI Outlet" to prevent shocks or shorts.

danhanmapa (author)2012-05-01

Please do let us know when you have those plans available... I have my husband convinced that we need chickens, but now we have to build the coop.
This one looks amazing and I agree... much nicer than stooping down to clean!

redgilnc (author)2012-03-24

You have done an EXCELLENT job. I appreciate the time and effort it took for you to share your work. Thank You!

eiannuccilli (author)2012-03-05

I would appreciate it if you could give the exterior dimensions of the solid structure and then the interior ground(walk around) area dimensions. I appreciate the sturdiness of the structure. I would use rabbit wire, as we live in an area with possibility of snakes. Beautiful chicken condo (too nice to be a coop ;0)

Roy Pruitt (author)2011-11-25

I am extremely impressed by your ingenuity on building this coop. I succumbed to my crazy wife's idea and purchased an 8x10 utility building kit and am not that pleased with the end result. I would also like to have the plans for this, plus I would like to find out more about the construction of the nesting boxes that you installed. Anyway, Great, no, Fantastic job !

leaveletters (author)2011-10-11

I live in a cold region and am wondering if it is necessary to cover screens with plexi glass or plastic during winter. I don't have chickens yet but I am trying to convince my husband of the benefits. Thanks for showing your ultimate coop. I am inspired to do more, not less for these remarkable birds. (author)2011-08-09

Great! it is in my Faves!

kari1052 (author)2011-04-28

hi, i love that you call your chickens "your girls" too! what a beautiful house, i'd love to give my girls a wonderful house that that too. and it is true.........the best eggs come from happy girls! thanks for posting the pictures. let us know if you decide to go into depth how you actually made it.

frenchkitchen (author)kari10522011-04-28

Wow, I'm so flatered that so many people want to see plans for the coop. I literally just sketched it on a napkin then polished it with Adobe Illustrator. I really don't have any architectual plans -- maybe I should get an architect to take my sketches and drawings to make real plans out of them.

GailC (author)frenchkitchen2011-05-03

I think you should make real plans from them! This is a brilliant chicken coop. Sadly I can't keep chickens in the city I'm in. Oh well!

I know, people have said this before, but excellent job!

frenchkitchen (author)GailC2011-05-03

Thank you for your kind words. Working on the plans. Will update everyone once they are available. Not all cities are like chickens. Our mayor has a couple, so I guess that's why it's ok.

GailC (author)frenchkitchen2011-08-01

Did you ever put together an "instructable" with instructions for this? :)

KittyF (author)frenchkitchen2011-05-04

in the early part of the 20th century chickens were so popular for pets and eggs that most towns and cities allow for them on a limited basis. anyone who wants to keep them should check with their city and find out what the requirements are. my town said I had to build a coop before they'd tell me how many I was allowed so I'm going to build for a dozen . LOL

frenchkitchen (author)KittyF2011-05-05

That answers the age old question of whether the chicken came before the coop. :)

KittyF (author)frenchkitchen2011-05-06

LOL yup, I guess the Lord made Adam build a coop before he gave him the eggs. or was it the hen? LOL
the ordinances for very many city's and towns include chickens as well as dogs and cats. it's a very fascinating thought, chickens as pets. I guess if a person had no other place to keep them, they could keep a couple in an indoor cage like toucans or large parrots. "mommy want an.... EGG?"

Baritone Blues (author)2011-05-29

I am absolutely amazed by the cleanliness of your coop and the area surrounding! All the coops I have seen in person and online are so dirty and smelly. That's why the head of our household will not let me keep chickens.

I would love to see another instructable from you on the care of your girls. :)

Maybe these lovely images and some great tips from you will convince him that keeping a few chickens is a great idea?

Arlene Grenier (author)2011-05-18

I Love your coop!
My husband has just finished making one for me and although it has pine instead of cedar we put a lot more into this then any of the ones we've seen. Couldn't stand the idea of my poor birds being
Just a couple questions; Is it OK to have a cement floor? I took the cement out in favor of the dirt thinking it was "better" for the birds but I'd really like to clean the cement floor.
The other question I had was the square footage of your building...NO PLANS wanted or needed...just how long and wide? And how many girls do you accommodate?

blacknkhak (author)2011-04-29

i could live here.

frenchkitchen (author)blacknkhak2011-04-29

Thanks! What would you recommend the rent to be set at? ;)

blacknkhak (author)frenchkitchen2011-05-05

if serious check zoning laws about rentals if not then charge eggs, or the ultimate price...

Gnara (author)2011-04-29

I have to say, thats pretty BadA$$

frenchkitchen (author)Gnara2011-04-30


frenchkitchen (author)2011-04-29

Thanks for your kind words, comments and questions.

This was definately a passion project. Of course, I spent more time, marerials and effort than most do on a chicken coop, but that's just me. Many have asked for plans, but I did not use anything more than a few hand drawn sketches and doodles in Adobe Illustrator. Unfortunately, I do not have any plans to share. But I have asked an architect friend to help put something together.

My goal was to make a home for my girls. Owning any animal requires responsibilty, care and kindness. This coop has definately made it something enjoyable to do. The chores are no longer chores, but fun.

Thanks again for viewing my project.

jeremyfox43921 (author)2011-04-28

what are the dimensions ?

It is one foot less than what our city required for a permit for an accessory dwelling. I'm working with an architect to put some plans together. Once they are done, I'll give you the exact details.

-chase- (author)2011-04-28

Wow - gutters too...

You might want to consider incorporating some rain barrels for watering the lawn in your design in the future. (since it rains so much)

There are plenty of instructables on rain barrels of various kinds.
Even ones to use the water for drinking - maybe even for the chickens.

On a side note - I had just watched the movie Food Inc a couple days ago and one of the main topics they talk about are chickens.

Polyface farms had a lot to say about the correct way to raise farm animals - including chickens - heck farming in general.

They seem to be on the forefront and well respected in the field. I was sold on them anyway.

and the final question.... so pray tell, were are the plans for those of us that would like to build something similiar? ;0)

can't buiild something that nice with out plans - or did you?

frenchkitchen (author)-chase-2011-04-28

Great suggestion. I looked at using rain barrels. However, I would have had to remove raspberry bushes next to the coop as well as a small tree. In the end, I love raspberries. (and so do the girls...)

It's fun to see them jump for berries! Look at the second photo with the six window opening. The berries are just starting to grow and the tree is on the left. You can see that I covered the gutters with cedar as well as the down spout on the left.

This was built with a sketch that I drew then finsihed in Adobe Illustrator. It was a compilation of my research and visiting 20+ other coops in my neighborhood, online and beyond. I did not copy any coop direcly or use any one else's plans.

Dare I say, free form. Thanks for your comments. My favorite part of the coop is the light on the outside -- I'm a craftsman fan. It actually matches the house pretty well too!

-chase- (author)frenchkitchen2011-04-28

Well - - something you might want to look at that would match is a small wooden rain barrel for the front left corner  - you wouldn't have to remove anything and it may even add to the decor.

Also - just a thought now - you can put rain barrels under ground. It would be a lot of work - may be not worth it to you i don't know. But you could have a large one underground - the small wooden one (if you choose to use one) in the corner which actually flowed into the larger one hiding all surface plumbing or even housing a pump or something.

and here are a couple that may match and be large enough -

Square wooden 70gal

Round wooden

A slim Tall round one

Of course these are just thoughts.
It looks great as it is for sure.

Agreed - the light is a great add. Looks perfect on it.

Great job for the lack of set of plans. and well thought out - for all conserned.

Didn't know chickens liked raspberries - they sound happy.

Have you noticed a difference in the taste of store bought eggs to the ones your hens produce?

sorry if i'm asking too many questions - all we have here is concrete - they bulldozed all the trees down and put up token Palm trees as replacement.

We were once known as the tree city of Florida - then they developed it all - now - it's just hot tar and concrete

so country style stuff is interesting to me anyway.
And you seemed to add a little pizzaz style to the country style look  ;0)

hmmm... I wonder if your chickens would mind a room mate... looking it over - it looks better than my place adn half the residencies around here now..

frenchkitchen (author)-chase-2011-04-28

Good suggestion on the wood barrels.

Yes, the eggs taste richer. The yolks are darker and the shells are stronger and harder to break. I went to an adult field day once with an egg toss event. I brought one of my girls eggs. We won the contest. ;)

I've never been to Florida, but it sounds like a wonderful place. I've always wanted to go and see it. All cities are really becoming conrete palaces, it's not just Florida.

Thanks again for your kind words!

-chase- (author)frenchkitchen2011-04-29

Was a wonderful place - it's not any longer....
Beach areas are destroyed - reefs mostly gone - water turning like northern waters - not crystal blue anymore or turquoise like it use to be.

but if visiting most now would advise it's best to visit more above the southern tri-county areas now. or over on the west side.

Middle florida maybe

if you ventuer down this way - well - don't say we didn't warn you.
Its not what you think it is anymore. - not like the pictures or postcards at all.

Most are trying to leave Florida  - not come here.

anyhow thanks for the replies
- congrats on that egg toss contest.

dvnfntn (author)2011-04-28

Wanna make a person sized one and send it to me? lol :D

frenchkitchen (author)dvnfntn2011-04-28

Thanks for your kind words.

DisplacedMic (author)2011-04-28

Wow, that is truly beautiful! It's much nicer than the first place i lived out of college mind you... thanks for a great instructable!

mind telling us a ballpark total cost?

MsJaxFla (author)2011-04-28

You must be really rich to build this for your hens... hopefully they live out their entire natural lives in this coop.

frenchkitchen (author)MsJaxFla2011-04-28

No, far from it...just found a mill locally that gave me a super cheap price on cedar. They even let me mill some of the wood myself. Also, my neighbor chipped in because his grandkids love the girls. (our chickens)

I'd like to think that my great design makes it look really so expensive.

MsJaxFla (author)frenchkitchen2011-04-28

Well, this cute chicken condo sure does look like the rich and fabulous live in it and was built by the same. And the wiring looks great as well.. I could not begin to do it.... you have lucky chickens and lucky neighbors to have you to do all the work. I am so very impressed. Me, I could not lift the boards..... but I still will dream.... sigh. I have to admit, I am only a wannnabe do it person. I am so very jealous.... again it is just wonderful.

frenchkitchen (author)MsJaxFla2011-04-28

Thanks for your kind words. If you can imagine it, I'm sure you can find someone to help build it for you. Many people are willing to trade services for things that you are good at! Best of luck.

kassofcmb (author)2011-04-28

I have read that cedar is bad for chickens. Have you had any come down with respiratory issues?

frenchkitchen (author)kassofcmb2011-04-28

Great point, cedar "bedding" is not recommended. And as you read in your article or others that I've seen, it refers to "cedar bedding."

I have a cement floor/slab -- and we'd both agree that it's definately bad for them to eat cement. I use pine for bedding.

PIne shavings/bedding is easy to clean and shows if it needs to be changed. We also use pine shavings in the sleeping/egg laying cabinet too. The interior of the space is made out of untreated pine with a few exceptions -- at places that would not create dust or chips that the girls would eat.

It's definately an important issue that I have thought about. My cats have upper respiratory problems and have caused me to do a lot of research on the subject. For me, the choice of cedar was clear -- it's a wood that holds up in the weather as we live in Oregon. It rains a lot!

Heck, I even put gutters on the coop. Although I chose to hide them with cedar so you can't see them unless you are on the roof.

love2cad (author)2011-04-25

Stunning!! Great work.

frenchkitchen (author)love2cad2011-04-28

Thank you!

poofrabbit (author)2011-04-25

Oh this is lovely! What spoiled little chickies!

frenchkitchen (author)poofrabbit2011-04-28

Chickens are the best!

zapskate (author)2011-04-26

is very nice - i would live in it! haha all i need is laptop, hammock, shelf, microwave, water.

frenchkitchen (author)zapskate2011-04-28

The wireless is there waiting for you! and we have 5 electric outlets but no water. ;)

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